The University of Naples “L’Orientale” (the Orientale University) has its beginnings in the Chinese College founded by Matteo Ripa, a lay priest and missionary worker who lived between 1711 and 1723 in the court of the Manchu Qing Emperor Kangxi. Upon his return to his homeland, he founded the “Chinese College” in Naples in 1732. 

The University is the oldest school of Oriental Studies in Europe. With its rich tradition in languages, cultural and social studies, from Europe to Asia, and from Africa to the Americas, since its very foundation our University has represented a pivotal Centre of Studies whose aim is to highlight the differences as well as the points of contact between cultures. 

From the very beginning, the Orientale University has been engaged in intense international cultural relations, constantly collaborating with diverse academic institutions of other countries, thus, providing its students with an education able to meet the demands of the modern world.

At present, the Orientale University offers 6 Degree programmes in the fields of American and Latin American Studies, Archeology, Comparative studies, Eastern and African Cultures, Political Sciences and International Relations, and Translations Studies. The Orientale University also offers 9 Master programmes, ranging from Archaeology, Asian and African Studies, Comparative Literature, European and American Studies, Italian Studies, International Relations, Mediterranean Studies, and Specialistic Translation. 

Additionally, the Orientale University offers three PhD Programmes which are closely related to its specific research interests: Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies (focused on the Philological, Historical and Archaeological study of ancient civilizations); International Studies (centered in the fields of History, History of Thought, Geopolitics, Economic, Institutional and Cultural Relations); Literary, Linguistic and Comparative Studies (centered on European and American Languages and Literatures).

Research at the Orientale University ranges between the study of Languages and Linguistics, Cultures, History, Geography, History of Thought, Archaeological and Artistic Heritage, and The Legal and Socio-Economic Systems of Western, African and Asian Countries. 

The Orientale University, set in the colorful an lively city of Naples, one of the most ancient and beautiful cities in Italy, has a very original outlook, offering students intellectual experiences and academic input, aimed fundamentally at the understanding of people and of cultural diversity.